Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Packaging Books

"How to" package books for shipping. 


   - You might save $$ shipping parcel post. The rules are strict for the $2.50 shipping rate, but not hard to comply with. Add your cute card and note on the outside of the package instead of inside!!!  The Post Office ships cheaper than UPS or shipping stores that can only ship First Class.  Ask the clerk for the "best price" when they're weighing your package. They often assume you prefer speed over price.

Note: Post Offices often have large-ish lines. Bring a book to read!!

   - Shipping out of the country anywhere from the USA is "First Class Air" even a mile across the Canadian border. You want your book as LIGHT as possible and as SMALL as possible.

Most of us have packaging lying around from a recent book arrival. The Post Office prefers to have any markings that don't originate with you blacked out. If you're re-using a box that contained hazardous substances before, make sure to black it all out.  (Yes, I've done that before.) If you're shipping a book in an Amazon book box, you can probably get away with it, no prob.  If you find the one PO clerk that demands you follow their rules or you won't get a great shipping rate, we can swap horror stories.

For my packaging, I re-use paper grocery bags. They're kinda nostalgic even without tying 'em up in string. Plus they're small and light and un-marked. The PO clerks are very friendly when I bring 'em in, which makes me feel like a happy deliverer of brown paper packages.

I know they look all cute -n- fancy stacked up, but they're super-duper simple and easy to package. There's only one thing I am hyper enthusiastic about - sticky packing tape!!!

I've tried all kinds, so paleeeeeze take my advise on this!!!!  Don't buy the Scotch Packing Tape for $8/tiny roll!!! (It's too thick and not sticky enough.) Don't use regular wrap tape!!  Glue sticks won't work, either!!!  You want the ultra-cheap packing tape that comes in rolls for $2 - $3. It comes with it's own lil' dispenser or you can get refillable rolls for these fancy-schmanzy tape dispensers.

Back in the day I put in my graveyard hours at a shipping company (like UPS, only different) and these dispensers are THE BOMB for wrapping lots of big boxes with super-human speed. But for this size of package, I just get myself wrapped up in the excess tape. (It's fun, if you wanna give the big dispenser a try. Kinda like that scene in Christmas Vacation when what-his-face gets sap all over his fingers.)


1 paper shopping bag.

1 roll of cheap sticky packing tape


Blank card & envelope

Stamp to decorate card

Stamp ink


1 -  Cut the paper bag in half

2 - Wrap the book like a gift, grocery art inside.

3 - If you're shipping items with the book, overlap the brown paper to strengthen the side with the goodies. Chocolate &/or pens should be wrapped in plastic in case they burst in transit.

4 - Add your personal touch!

I found these blank cards on discount for $1.50/10 cards. I knew it was a "deal" but I've never used 'em 'til now.  Same with my stamp... think I grabbed it out of a $10 bucket years and years ago, but I rarely write random notes to people where a cute girl writing at an ol'-fashioned desk is "cool". (Weird!)  They're perfect for this!!!

Note: Use whatever ya got lying around!!

I write the address on the outside of the card and then tape it onto the package (with my sticky packing tape!). The address should be as boringly easy to read as I can make it with my writing skills 'cause I want it to arrive at it's destination. But I go wild with my calligraphy practice inside the card!!!

Out of that big stack of books in the first picture, I paid $2.50 for half of 'em.  Four of 'em went outside of the USA, but only two of those cost (a little) more than $10, which is NOT BAD!! It could've cost me $80 bucks to ship all those, but I paid less than $35.

Giveaways are fun!!  Trading books is so fun!!  Figuring out how to ship 'em was pretty darn cool, too!  Do you have some fun hints to share?!